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Lichen: Cladonia floerkeana - Devils matchsticks

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Lichen: Cladonia floerkeana - Devils matchsticks

Despite being sensitive to air pollution lichens are one of our most diverse and widespread life forms and whilst declining in eastern areas they still thrive in the west and here in Dorset there are many of them.

Lichens are specialists. Some species use rocks, walls, roof tiles and gravestones as their substrate, others prefer wood and colonise tree trunks and branches, fence posts and wooden buildings. There is also a family of lichen, the Cladonia species where some members colonise bare ground and this one, Cladonia floerkeana, is one of those.

Supposedly common on peaty soils on moors and heaths I only come across it occasionally on the Dorset heath but there is quite a lot of heath in Dorset to look at so I am sure I have often missed it.

This species has thin stems with bright red spore producing tips giving them the appearance of matches, hence the common name of Devil's Matchsticks!


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 4 months ago

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